Nike is a pioneer in endorsements, going as far as developing brands within its brand. The payoff has been huge, but the risk is high when hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in the reputation of fallible individuals.
I recently sat down with cyclist Tyler Hamilton at his Montana home. Hamilton opens up about his use of illegal performance enhancing drugs and reveals details about the alleged illegal drug use of his former teammate and close friend Lance Armstrong.
When I recall the things I admired most about Robert F. Kennedy -- his fire, his faith, his Quixote-like tilt against racial injustice -- I'm reminded that it's hard to find heroes like that anymore, especially during an election season.
Advertisers have long used human emotions to sell soap, cigarettes, and cars. So why not create campaigns that serve society's higher ideals and do it from within the same agencies that have long been vilified?
No one wants to form a partnership with a celebrity who ends up in a line up or caught up in a host of other brand damning by association situations. So why is Lance Armstrong and Livestrong still a smart move for a plethora of potential partners?
Thanks to an explosion of creative tools like Final Cut and GarageBand, and public forums like Pinterest and Instagram, we're defining ourselves increasingly by our own output. Sadly, even the best tools do not an artist make.
Weight does not measure human worth. It is not an indicator of character. Bathroom scales are not designed to weigh merit. The boy in the Nike ad may well be full to the brim with greatness -- but none of it has anything to do with running.
Facebook hacking is out of control. If user privacy and security is not strengthened, then Facebook should issue a bold warning on every page -- just like the cigarette companies do. "Warning! Facebook is not a secure site.